A High Hurdle continued...
And critics are already on the attack. They point to the long waiting lists for care in Canada and to the fact that a lack of profit potential means that that country -- and the more than 35 other industrialized countries with government health care -- rely on the U.S. for innovative new treatments.
"Moore is promoting the myth that government-run health care is a magic bullet," says Stuart Browning, a fellow at the Motion Picture Institute, a conservative group that is producing its own films to rebut Sicko.
"People need to have a rounded understanding of the issues. Only then can we hope to have a meaningful debate about what kinds of reforms will actually work," he says.
Moore acknowledges that Canada's health system has flaws. "But ask a Canadian if they're willing to trade their national health card for your HMO card," he says.
"In Canada, the doctor decides who goes first and who goes to the end of the line," says Rep. Pete Stark, D-Calif., who chairs a powerful health care subcommittee.
Whether or not Moore succeeds in turning the tide in favor of national health care remains to be seen.
But just to make his point about the influence of the health care industry, he's also invited more than 600 lobbyists from the insurance, pharmaceutical, and hospital businesses to their own private screening of the film.
Sicko opens in New York this Friday and in theaters nationwide June 29.
- What is one thing you’d change about our health care system? Read the thoughtful blog of Ira Kirchenbaum, MD, and leave your comments.